Fourteen years of living in Colorado and I still haven’t lost my southern accent. It may not be as thick as it was the day I arrived, but it is definitely still there. This fact leaves me having to frequently answer the question, “what brought you to Colorado?” Some of my favorite answers include:
- My parents brought me here to ski every year as a child and I knew this is where I had to be. TRUTH: other than a few trips to Bush Gardens our family vacation consisted of Myrtle Beach every single year, I barely knew Colorado existed.
- I’m an outdoor enthusiast who absolutely had to be in the Rocky Mountains. TRUTH: when I arrived in Colorado the only thing I was enthusiastic about was smoking and drinking.
- I’m a scientist for the United States Government studying the effect of global warming in high altitude destinations. TRUTH: obvious!
I make up these lies about my move to the West simply because the truth is too embarrassing: I moved to Colorado from North Carolina out of pure and simple laziness. Here’s the lowdown, I went to college at Appalachian State University in the beautiful town of Boone, NC. After a year of having absolutely no idea what I wanted to major in I stumbled upon an area of interest: Recreation Management. Who knew you could actually get a degree in recreation? I was sold. My dad, who was paying for this education, not so much. Let’s just say the phone call announcing my decision didn’t exactly go well. But eventually he accepted the fact that his well-saved money would more than likely be going towards a career of sweeping gyms.
After four years (you’re damn right I did it in four years, of course it wasn’t exactly a hard class load) it was time to graduate, but before I could actually receive a diploma I was required to do an internship in my chosen field.
My classmates began sending out resumes early that last semester. I myself was entirely too busy trying to milk every last minute of college life I could, partying at all hours of the day and generally paying little attention to studies. As graduation came closer the reality that I had only sent out one resume and never heard back from the resort became an issue. If I didn’t get that pretty piece of paper to frame and put on my wall my dad was not going to be a happy camper.
As I start to freak out luck came my way. A good friend who was graduating in the same situation had accepted an internship in Snowmass Village, Colorado and could no longer take it. “Why don’t you just go in my place?” One phone call later my problem was solved and I was headed to a place I had never even considered going to.
Little did I know just how freaking cool of an area I was headed. My new employers offered me free housing right in the heart of Aspen, Colorado. A place where at the time, males outnumbered females about 8 to 1, parties lasted even longer than they did in college, and the real world still seemed a million miles away. The entire summer of my internship I heard over and over, “you have to stay for a winter,” and so I did, and then another summer, and then another winter, and then, well you get the point.
So here I am, fourteen years later. Things have of course changed since my early Colorado years. I no longer live in a three bedroom house in Aspen with seven roommates. I don’t get to snowboard five days a week like I used to. All-night parties have turned into early evening get-togethers with friends and our kids. And who cares about the boy to girl ratio since I found my hubby three years in to this ride. But there are some things that will never change: this is simply one of the most beautiful places in the world and I am so very fortunate to live here and raise my children here. Oh, and I’ll continue to pull a lie out of my ass every single time someone asks me “what in the world brought you to Colorado?”